The Romans made very free use of them.
The Cloaca Maxima, or Great Sewer, of Rome, is the oldest known example of Roman workmanship; it is believed to have been constructed more than five hundred years before the Christian era, and is yet in a perfect state of preservation, still continuing to perform its original functions.
That people also used arches as triumphal monuments; the arch of Titus was erected A. D. 80; that of Trajan, A. D. 114; and of Constantine, A. D. 312.
The Gothic style, which originated about the ninth century, and soon spread over the whole of Europe, was emphatically the style of arches.
Its special characteristics are the clustered pillar and the pointed arch.
The mediaeval masons treated them with a boldness and freedom unknown to the builders of Ancient Rome.
Their constructions display an astonishing amount of practical science, and clearly show that their taste was equal to their skill.
Long before the properties of the caten